There is no doubt that salmon is one of the most popular healthy main courses out there! There is simply nothing like salmon when it comes to texture and flavor, whether it is grilled, baked, pan-seared, or smoked; even the canned variety has a unique taste that goes well with salad.
Additionally, salmon has many health benefits as a result of its rich protein content and omega-3 fatty acid content. In most cases, salmon is prepared as the main course of a meal. Therefore, knowing what to eat with salmon can present a little bit of a challenge.
As part of this article, you will find my own personal experiences with some great salmon side dishes as well as my opinion about each of them. It is entirely up to you whether you try these out for yourself and select the ones you like or work on your own and come up with your own combinations after picking your favorites from the list above. In addition, keep in mind that these side dishes are versatile and can be served along with any other type of dish as well as fish.
It is a common practice, since salmon is rich in protein, to add carbohydrates or vegetables to the main course or main part of the meal when cooking salmon as a main dish in order to provide nutritional balance to the meal. You have virtually endless options in terms of carbs and vegetables to choose from, so you can be confident that your entrée is both nutritionally and gastronomically satisfying.
If you are looking for some carbs, here are some ideas: rice, angel hair pasta (or some other type of thin noodle), cold pasta salad, mac and cheese, potatoes (baked, roasted, or mashed), and corn on the cob.
- Rice is always a great accompaniment to salmon, but there are a couple of different options for you. For example, you can choose to make a rice that is more standard or you can make a rice that is more Asian-sticky rice. There is something particularly appealing about the latter, especially if your salmon is prepared in an Eastern-style way (e.g. salmon teriyaki). Wild rice is a personal favorite of mine, for both its taste and texture.
- Pasta: You can also choose pasta as a great option. The type of pasta I prefer to serve with salmon is cold, thin pasta tossed with some vegetables, but any type of pasta cooked however you like goes well with salmon. The classic Southern dish macaroni and cheese is also a popular choice for salmon.
- Potatoes: It is also important to point out that potatoes are another delicious option that you should not pass up. At the same time, potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, but they also offer great variety, since you can choose to bake, roast, mash or even deep fry them when you feel like it.
- Corn on the cob: It is worth noting that corn on the cob makes a deceptively simple but delicious side dish. All you have to do is put some butter on it, roll it up in foil, place it in the oven for half an hour or so, and you’re good to go.
On top of this already impressive list, you can create literally hundreds of combinations by choosing from a virtually endless variety of vegetables. All you have to do is put your imagination to work!
The fresh vegetables I love the best are those that taste great without having to follow a complicated recipe. In this case, it’s raw vegetables or steamed/roasted vegetables that I prefer to cook.
As a variation of salmon, many of us like to have fresh green peas with it, and I love string beans just as much, because of the simplicity and the fresh taste they provide.
Asparagus is also great with salmon. It offers a whole different set of nutrients that complement those in salmon even though it has a similar texture to string beans. The combination of steamed broccoli, a superfood rich in antioxidant content, and salmon make for an invincible combination.
It is my opinion that one of the easiest salads in the world to make is an Israeli salad, which consists of finely diced cucumbers and tomatoes, tossed with olive oil. Even though the salad itself is absolutely fantastic, you can also enjoy the cucumbers and tomatoes separately, as they are simply delicious. While I haven’t tried it yet, I saw Gordon Ramsey cooking oven roasted plum tomatoes with salmon and it looked like it would also be a mouth-watering option.
It is a long-time favorite to serve salmon with spinach as an accompaniment. There are lots of ways to cook spinach and it goes great with salmon: you can sauté it in olive oil with garlic, or you can choose to cook it in cream. As opposed to the former, which gives a fresh taste of vegetable as it is, the latter gives a rich taste to the vegetable.
If you are interested in making further modifications to the carbohydrate and vegetable combinations that have so far been suggested, you can do so by adding your own touch. You can use your imagination to come up with some herbs that go along with the salmon itself or the side dishes. For instance, lemon or lime can be an excellent choice. If you want to give the dish some fresh taste and stimulation, then you can add some lemon or lime juice, or you can add some zest to make the dish more tangy.
Hopefully, after reviewing the list of comprehensive ideas mentioned above, you will never again be stuck with the frustrating feeling of not knowing what to serve with the salmon fillets sizzling on your stovetop. Don’t hesitate to experiment with these recipes and have fun expressing your culinary creativity!